Peter Jackson’s claims that Harvey Weinstein fueled a “smear campaign” against actresses Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino made headlines on Friday. The Lord Of The Rings director claims both were “blacklisted” due to information shared by Miramax during the early production of the epic film series.
Weinstein soon released a denial of Jackson’s take on the situation, saying that Miramax lost Lord Of The Rings and “all casting was done by New Line” with no decisions from either Weinstein or his brother, Bob Weinstein. This clearly did not sit well with Jackson and he released a rebuttal to the Weinstein denial to Deadline:
Aspects of Harvey’s denial are insincere. He is basically saying that “this blacklisting couldn’t be true because New Line cast the movie”. That’s a deflection from the truth.
In the 18 months we developed the Lord of the Rings at Miramax, we had many casting conversations with Harvey Weinstein, Bob Weinstein and their executives.
During this period, no offers were made to actors because that occurs after a film is greenlit, and Miramax never greenlit these films…
Amongst the many names raised, Fran and I expressed our enthusiasm for Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino. In fact we met with Ashley and discussed two possible roles with her. After this meeting we were told by Miramax to steer clear of both Ashley and Mira, because they claimed to have had “bad experiences” with these particular actresses in the past.
Fran Walsh was in the same meeting, and remembers these negative comments about Ashley and Mira as clearly as I do. We have no reason to make it up.